The postcoital test (PCT) is a test in the evaluation of infertility. It was apparently first performed by J. Marion Sims and later described by Max Huhner, thus it has also been called Sims-Huhner Test.
The test examines interaction between sperm and mucus of the cervix. The PCT is scheduled close to ovulation when mucus is abundant, and the infertile couple is asked to have sexual intercourse. Several hours later, the woman is examined by the physician and the presence of active sperm in the mucus is recorded. Normally, active sperm are expected to be found as they can survive for many hours.
A poor PCT may indicate sperm or mucus problems, including perhaps presence of immune factors that inactivate sperm. Also ovulatory problems and poor coital technique may affect the PCT.
- Pavone ME, Hirshfeld-Cytron JE, Kazer RR, 'The progressive simplification of the infertility evaluation.' Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2011 Jan;66(1):31-41. PMID 21510910